2018 Grand National Trends For Punters To Profit

It doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned horse racing punter, or a recreational better that only dips in and out of betting – the thought of betting on the Grand National – a race with 40 runners in – can be often be a very daunting affair. 

However – fear not – as with bundles of Grand National trends & stats on offer there really has never been a better time to be a horse racing punter.

You have to go back to 1839 to find the first running of the Grand National – a race that was won by the aptly-named Lottery and since then trying to pick the winner of the race has often be called just that – a lottery! 

Therefore, it’s a race with loads of history attached to it and, therefore, over time it’s built up many positive and negatives trends. This is great news for punters as we can now use these past stats to look for the best profiles of past Grand National winners and apply these to the 2018 runners.

After all – ask yourself this – if a certain makeup of a horse has won this tough and demanding race more often than not, then why wouldn’t you want to put history on your side and focus on the horses that fit the best trends – oh, and also put a line through those that don’t?

For example…………………Did you know that the last 7 year-old to win the Grand National was in 1940?

Yet, year-after-year punters will still waste their money betting on horses aged 7.

With 77 previous races with no 7 year-old winners there simply has to be a reason for this. Maybe the horses are not strong enough to cope with the extreme distance, especially with 30 tough and unique fences to jump. Or perhaps, they lack experience. But no matter what the reason this key age trend is there for all to see! 

Or – Since 1978 we’ve seen a staggering 120 horses try and win the Grand National carrying more than 11-5 in weight – Only two (Many Clouds and Neptune Collonges) have succeeded – that’s a shocking return, so even though those two horses have shown it’s possible there have been 118 that have failed! 

So, to help we’ve got the main ‘plus and minus’ trends to apply to the Grand National runners – by just following these simple rules you’ll at least have the make-up of past Grand National winners on your side when placing your 2018 Aintree Grand National betting trends.

Positive Grand National Trends To Look For……………….

  • Horses aged 10 or older have the best recent record
  • Horses that had won or finished placed in a National race of any description (Look at Scottish, Irish & Welsh Nationals)
  • Look for horses that raced over hurdles at some point earlier that season
  • Horses that like to be ridden up with the pace in their races often do well (avoid horses that like to be held up)
  • Irish-trained horses have a great recent record in the Grand National
  • Irish-bred horses have the best recent Grand National record
  • Look for horses that finished unplaced in the previous season’s Grand National – they often do well
  • Horses that have won over 3miles in the past is virtual ‘must-have’

Negative Grand National Trends To Look For…………………

  • Horses aged 8 or younger don’t have the best of records
  • Horses aged 13 or older don’t have a great Grand National winning record
  • Runners that have fallen or unseated three or more times often don’t run well
  • Past Grand National winners and previous Grand National placed horses have bad returning records
  • Horses that had last raced over 50 days ago often don’t run well
  • Runners that had hard races at the Cheltenham Festival, run the previous month, don’t fare well.

Grand National Tips and Trends – Do’s and Don’ts

With so much Grand National history there are plenty of stats and trends to take into the race each year. Some trends have very hot periods while others, like – as we’ve mentioned – the fact we’ve hardly seen any 7 years-old win the race, are simply ‘must-have’ stats you need to know about.

For example – the recent age trend have hovered around the 9-10 years-old mark for many years but in the last three runnings we’ve seen 8 year-olds win the race twice in the last three runnings.

Yes, of course, it’s likely that the Grand National winner will fall down on at least one or two key stats and you can get bogged down with stats before to the race. 

Therefore, it’s key to decide for yourself which trends hold a bit more weight than others, but you can’t go too far wrong in just sticking with the stats that have stood the test of time. After all, if something has happened more often than not in the last 20 Grand Nationals then, surely, it’s better to put the odds and history in your favour and look for horses with certain profiles that fit these key past stats.

Ok, at first glance with 40 runners contesting 30 fences for 4 1/4 miles the Aintree Grand National does have quite a scary look to it when it comes to trying to hunt down the winner – however, despite those daunting factors you can often find the Grand National winner by following a few simple tips and trends.

Weight Watchers:  Some recent winners have carried 11st (or more) to victory but looking back at recent trends make this weight your cut-off point. If you look back over the winners we’ve only seen the mighty Red Rum (1974 & 1977) and Many Clouds (2015) carry 11-8 or more – 21 of the last 27 winners carried 10-12 or less!

Staying Power: Stamina is an absolute must-have when scanning down the entries. Year-after-year there are always plenty of hype horses that are certainly talented, but the big question surrounding their chance is will they stay the grueling 4m 1/4f trip?  You have to trawl back to 1970 and a horse called Gay Trip to find the last victor that won the Grand National having not previously won over at least 3 miles.

Recent Form: Coming into the race off the back of a fairly recent run, plus a decent finish is another something to look for. 16 of the last 27 winners were placed in the top 4 last time out, while a monster 26 of the last 27 Grand National winners had raced within the last 55 days. Yes, a lot will fit the bill here, but if you want to take this trend a bit further then it might pay to know 21 of the last 27 winners actually ran no more than 34 days ago – this should help knock a fair few out! 

Age Concern:  Experience is a huge attribute when looking back at past Grand National winners with horses aged 9 years-old or OLDER certainly the ones to focus on. You have to go back to 1940 (Bogskar) to find the last 7 year-old to grab the Merseyside marathon! So, don’t be too put off if your fancy is in their twilight years – but not a teenager, while – as mentioned – avoid horses aged 7! It is worth pointing out that we’ve seen two 8 year-olds win the race in the last 3 runnings so you can’t totally rule out this age group either. 23 of the last 27 winners were aged 9 or older!

Luck Of The Irish: Runners from across the Irish Sea have raided these shores to win the Aintree Grand National many times in recent years, so certainly take a second glance at any of their runners. 5 of the last 12 winners came from Irish-based stables!

Fencing Master: With thirty of the most unique obstacles in horse racing to contend with then having previous form over the tricky Grand National fences can be a huge advantage. Many recent Grand National winners had previously been tried over these Grand National-style fences in the past. The Topham Chase and Becher Chase – or a previous run in the big race itself – are the main races that are staged at Aintree racecourse over the same Grand National-style fences to look back at.

Who’s Your Favourite: The betting on the Grand National always picks up pace in the weeks building up to the big day, but on the Saturday itself, when the ‘once-a-year’ punters hit the high streets, this is when the betting market really kicks into gear. It’s also worth noting that the weights for the Grand National are issued well in advance (normally in February each year), so with some horses often running well after they’ve been given their allocated weight and before the race then this can also impact the ante post Grand National betting. 5 of the last 27 runnings have been won by the favourite (19%), while 15 of the last 27 (56%) market leaders were placed (top 4 finish)!

Market Toppers: We’ve already talked about the actual favourite, but this Grand National stat can be taken a bit further when you actually drill down into recent runnings. In fact, most winners in recent years started in the first eight of the Grand National betting market – indicating that despite the Venetia Williams-trained, Mon Mome, popping-up at 100/1 in 2009, that punters generally tend to get this race right. 8 of the last 15 winners came from the top 8 in the betting market!

Fitness First: Probably the biggest trend in recent years, and a really easy way to whittle the 40 strong field down in one easy swoop, is just check how many days ago your fancy last ran. The majority of the recent Grand National winners had their previous race no more than 48 days prior to the big day. While if you want to drill this trend down a bit further than you’ll notice that a large amount of recent winners of the Grand National actually raced less than 40 days prior to landing the greatest steeplechase in the world. 26 of the last 27 winners ran no more than 55 days ago, while 21 of the last 27 raced no more than 34 days ago! 

Aintree Grand National Trends (Last 27 Runnings)

– 26/27 – Ran no more than 55 days ago
· 26/27 – Officially rated 137 or higher
· 25/27 – Had won over at least 3m (chase) before
· 24/27 – Had won no more than 6 times over fences before
· 23/27 – Aged 9 or older
· 22/27 – Returned a double-figure price
· 21/27 – Ran no more than 34 days ago
· 21/27 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
· 21/27 – Carried 10-12 OR LESS
· 18/27 – Had won between 4-6 times over fences before
· 16/27 – Carried 10-8 OR LESS
· 16/27 – Finished in the top 4 last time out
· 16/27 – Aged 10 years-old or younger
· 15/27 – Placed favourites
· 14/27 – Aged 9 or 10 years-old
· 14/27 – Won by an Irish-bred horse
· 9/27 – Ran at Cheltenham last time out
· 8/27 – Trained in Ireland (inc 5 of the last 12 years)
· 6/27 – Ran in a previous Grand National
· 5/27 – Won by the favourite or joint-favourite
· 5/27 – Won last time out
· 2/27 – Trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
· 2/27 – Ridden by Ruby Walsh
  2/27 – Ridden by Leighton Aspell
· 0/27 – Won by a horse aged 7 years-old OR LESS

Aintree Grand National Facts

Since 1978, 120 horses have tried to win with more than 11-5 – with just two winners – Many Clouds (11-9) in 2015 & Neptune Collonges (11-6) in 2012
14 of the last 19 winners were bred in Ireland
Only 1 horse that won at the Cheltenham Festival that same season has won since 1961
The last 7 year-old or younger to win was back in 1940
12 of the last 21 winners had won or been placed in a National-type race before
No horse aged 13 or older has won since 1923 or placed since 1969
3 of the last 9 winners ran in the Scottish National the previous season
9 of the last 15 winners had run over hurdles at some stage earlier in the season
5 of the last 16 winners had been unplaced in the National last year
Only three 8 year-olds have won the last 24 renewals
Just one past winner or placed horse from the previous year’s race has won for 33 years (76 have attempted)
19 of the last 21 winners had fallen or unseated no more than twice in their careers
The last horse to win back-to-back Nationals was Red Rum in 1974

Aintree Grand National Trends (15 Year)

14/15 – Had won over at least 3m previously
13/15 – Won by a horse aged 9 or older
13/15 – Ran less than 50 days ago
13/15 – Officially rated 137 or higher
9/15 – Won by horses aged in double-figures
8/15 – Winners from the top 8 in the betting
8/15 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
6/15 – Carried 11-0 or more in weight
7/15 – Experienced the National fences
5/15 – Won by a horse aged 10 years-old
5/15 – Won by an Irish-trained horse
3/15 – Winning favourites (2 joint)
3/15 – Won their last race
2/15 – Won by the McCain yard
The average winning SP in the last 15 renewals is 28/1

Andy Newton

Andy is a member of the Horse Writers’ Association and an established horse racing expert and tipster. He's been featured in Gambling Online magazine, and as an expert in the Official Wetherbys Cheltenham Festival betting guide since 2011 as well as other leading publications . Andy also has regular columns on, and and specializes in big race trends and stats.


  1. Your info very helpful ,let’s see what happens on the big day,but your info helps to sort the ones with a chance

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